Jim Goodwin is determined to repay the faith of the Aberdeen board following their “courageous” decision not to sack him in the wake of Monday’s shock Scottish Cup defeat by Darvel.
Goodwin had frank discussions with the board after the humiliation in Ayrshire followed on from a 5-0 thrashing by Hearts and made it seven defeats in nine games.
Chairman Dave Cormack confirmed on Wednesday that Goodwin would be in the dugout for Saturday’s cinch Premiership encounter with Hibernian after being convinced that the players were behind the manager.
But he added that Goodwin had been left “in no doubt that the board and the fans are seeking an immediate response”.
Goodwin said: “The board have taken a courageous decision. It would have been very easy for them to sack me on the spot on Monday night but they took time to consider the decision. They showed great faith in me.
“They have shown they still believe I am the man to take this club forward but I have to prove that to them all over again and I have to prove that to the supporters as well.
“I am as determined as ever to make a success of this.
“I’ve got a lot of making up to do with them, with our supporters in particular because I fully understand how let down they must feel about recent results.
“I want to earn their respect again, I want to prove to them that the board made the right decision in giving me this job. The only way I can do that is by getting results.”
Cormack’s statement has been interpreted in some quarters as an ultimatum that victory in Leith is necessary for Goodwin to keep his job.
When asked whether that was the case, Goodwin said: “You saw the statement, they’re looking for an instant reaction from myself and from the players and that’s what we have to make sure we give them.
“We’re going to go into the game with a positive mindset and thinking about winning the game.
“I can only take it one game at a time, that’s where my head’s at at the moment. It’s always about the next game and the Hibs game is massive.
“My focus is fully on the Hibs game, motivating the players, making sure they know what their roles and responsibilities are and making sure we show the necessary passion and commitment.”
When asked whether the statement had piled added pressure on the team, Goodwin said: “Listen, there is pressure on every game. The easy thing for the board of directors to do after Monday night would have been to part company with me.
“The easy thing for me to do would probably have been to walk away, but I’ve never shirked a challenge in my life.”
Meanwhile, Goodwin admitted his error in leaving recently re-signed former skipper Graeme Shinnie on the bench in Monday’s 1-0 defeat.
“I picked a team that I thought was capable of beating Darvel,” he said. “Darvel are many tiers below us. In hindsight, it’s very easy to look at team selection and tactics.
“Did I get it right? Clearly not because we lost the game.
“Is it a regret of mine? Could I have done with Graeme Shinnie out there with his energy and passion and commitment? I made a mistake on that one. I thought the decision was the right one and unfortunately it backfired.
“But there will be no mistakes on Saturday in terms of team selection.”